AMY GOODMAN: Now, let’s go back. You explain economic hit men and who you were working for.
JOHN PERKINS: Well, really, we economic hit men have managed to create the world’s first truly global empire, I think. And we worked primarily to get US corporations big jobs in other countries. We identified third world countries that have resources our corporations covet, like oil, or in this case—in Ecuador it was oil, in Panama it was the canal. And then we arranged huge loans for that country from the World Bank or one of its sisters.
But the money doesn’t go to the country. Instead, it goes to our own corporations to build projects in that country, like power plants and industrial parks and highways, that benefit a few rich people, in addition to our corporations, but don’t help the majority of the people who are too poor to buy electricity or don’t have the skills to get jobs in industrial parks.
But the country is left holding a huge debt that it can’t possibly repay. So, at some point, we go back and say, “Listen, you know, you can’t pay our debt, so go along with us. Sell your oil real cheap to our oil companies. Let us stay with the canal. Let us build a military base in Ecuador,” as we’ve done in Manta, Ecuador. And in that way, we’ve really managed to bring these countries around to our side to create this empire.
When we fail, which doesn’t happen too often—but that’s what happened in Ecuador with Roldos and in Panama with Torrijos—then the jackals step in and either overthrow the governments or assassinate the leaders. If the jackals also fail—that’s what happened with Saddam Hussein in Iraq—then and only then does the military go in.
UPDATE MONDAY 16 JUNE 08
From Guardian America
An indigenous Panamanian tribe has driven its king into exile over his approval of a £25m hydro-electric project in its jungle realm.
The Naso tribe, whose millennia-old royal inheritance system is recognised by the state, banished King Tito Santana for opening the kingdom to developers.
"Many of us are opposed to a king who, for us, is selling our society without any thought for tomorrow," Eduardo Santana, a nephew of Tito, told Reuters. The project risked cultural and environmental harm, he said. "We are part of nature and if we do not look after it, who will?"